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(Monday, December 31st)
Final Score: (25) Kansas State 70, South Dakota 50
Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - Nino Williams led four players in double figures with 16 points as No. 25 Kansas State used a second-half rally to dispatch South Dakota, 70-50, at Bramlage Coliseum.
Rodney McGruder added a trio of triples en route to 15 points along with nine rebounds for the Wildcats (11-2), who have won four straight in advance of their Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
"We had a great moment against Florida. That was a special moment," said K- State head coach Bruce Weber about the conclusion of the non-conference schedule. "We had a good win against George Washington on the road, where we found a way to win. In hindsight, we needed one more tough game in that mix, but it did not happen. I think you saw against Florida, that if we are connected and playing at a high level, we can beat anybody in the country,
Karim Rowson netted 14 points for the Coyotes (6-9), losers in five of their last seven ahead of opening conference play on Thursday against North Dakota State. Juevol Myles had 13 points and Brandon Bos 11 with five boards and four steals in defeat.
South Dakota pulled within 39-33 on two from the line by Steve Tecker with 5 1/2 minutes played in the second half, then reduced its deficit to 44-39 with 9:15 remaining on two free throws from Rowson.
That was all for the visitors, who were unable to withstand a 12-0 burst from there.
Jordan Henriquez began the surge with a three-point play, Shane Southwell hit a triple and added a pair of jumpers to the end of the run to make it 56-39 with 5:23 on the clock.
"We played good for 30 minutes then they really turned it up and turned us over there a few times in the last 10 minutes," noted South Dakota head coach Dave Boots. "They got against us on the boards a little bit and we got off to a slow start, but we came back and hung in there the second half. We had a good battle."
The Wildcats kept pressing, extending their lead to as many as 24 in the late stages after a shot by D.J. Johnson provided a 70-46 edge.
K-State was up 13-2 less than five minutes into the contest and a jumper from Adrian Diaz stretched the hosts' advantage to 27-13.
A triple from McGruder upped the Wildcats' edge to 30-15 and Kansas State took a 12-point edge to the locker room.
Kansas State has won all eight meetings ... The Wildcats committed 17 turnovers in the victory and forced only 13 from South Dakota ... Henriquez and South Dakota's Tyler Flack posted three blocks apiece ... KSU improved to 8-0 at home this season.
12/31 20:47:57 ET
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